In the new book Engaging Exposition (B&H Academic), Danny Akin talks about sermon application that is rooted in the biblical text. He says: “First, text-driven application is grounded in biblical truth gained through historical, grammatical, literary and theological analyses of the biblical text. Application necessarily flows from our exegesis and exposition. The order is not optional. It is essential. Practical application must find its foundation in biblical exposition.
“Second, text-driven application must be based on the author’s intended meaning found in the text. Authorial intent determines and dictates application. Because we believe the ultimate author of Scripture is the Holy Spirit of God, we dare not trifle or manipulate the plain sense of Scripture to fit any preconceived agenda with respect to how we want to apply the text in our sermon. That approach is homiletical malpractice worthy of pastoral disbarment.
“Third, text-driven application should demonstrate the relevance and practical nature of biblical truth for the listeners in their present life context. The Bible does not need to be made relevant. It is relevant now and forever as revealed, eternal truth. However, the preacher has the responsibility to unfold and make clear the Bible’s relevance.
“Fourth, text-driven application must include practical illustrations, examples and suggestions, so the audience can adopt and model their lives after the biblical truth being taught. The best place to begin is with biblical examples. In particular, the Old Testament contains a reservoir of resources. One should then proceed to contemporary examples, taking into careful consideration the specific context in which one ministers the word. In this sense a cross-cultural contextualization in good preaching must not be ignored, especially when we find ourselves in an increasingly missiological context, even in America.” (Click here to learn more about the book Engaging Exposition.)